This was the first real SOAB activity for me. I managed to make the full 48 hours. As I had 24 hours so far this was a very new experience. The first 24 went in a blink but after the 36th it started to become a tough game. I prepared everything I could to make it physically more convenient (chair, lumbar and foot support, etc.) but there is no acceptable body position after this long time in the same chair. But this pain was negligible to the mental hardship. It was funny to see that when the brain “sends” the command to the hand but the hand did not start to move and execute. I had 2x short dead points when I simply called CQ now I hope not too many callers considered me a deaf lid. Need to find other energizer for the 2nd day as the coffee did not make any difference. Never made so many keyboard handling errors like in this period when the easy splanchnic moves did not reach the targeted buttons either… I apprehensively looking forward to the UBN… :-) If I consider the final end result it would be wise to cut the 48hours onto 2x chunks having a 90mins nap somewhere @halfway.

Still I have to practice more the WT “CapsLock” binding SO2R philosophy. I sent several msgs to the wrong radio making big surprise to the caller stn. Sorry for the confusion.

It seems I killed the 2nd radio as unfortunately it was way too quiet on Sat. I took risk making SO2R using a lower isolation BPF-set and seems the risk is not risk anymore. Trying to avoid the full demolishment I gave up the 2nd radio around 2/3 way. Due to the limited adjacent band attenuation I could use the 2nd trx on certain band combinations so actually had no optimal usage of it.

Finally managed to fix the low band vertical switching relay issue and I could use top band with full throttle as well. Funnily enough there was a broken piece of wire in the cable. I should be happy about to find it but took 3 painful long hours to accomplish this.

Interesting to see that the mults usually took freq in the higher portion of the band. I tuned the antennas to the first quarter of both 160m and 80m so if any mult was CQing above 1825 or 3540 I simply let CQ did not dare to call.

I definitely need more DX to the log. However I have fairly high number of QSOs still not enough to reach the top part of the table. Beside I still left too many mults in the bands the 1.77 point/qso is low.

Propagation… 10m was dead, even the obvious z20 is missed but literally there was no “channel” to that direction. I tried several times and rotated the antenna like a fun but that was it. I don’t know how but 6V7A called in out of the blue. I thought someone funny is making a joke but had to realize after the 3rd attempt this was real. Thanks for the perseverance. 15m I still have the 3el 3 bander @5m high. I am amazed how the VK stns I called replied to the first call right away. This is the first on the todo list for 2019. Both 20m and 40m was the real carrier. I was tempted to 40m from 20m too early on Sat and guess lost 2 hours of good NA opening. Need to see the stats but as impression the activity from JA was high as least what I experienced so far. The total number of the different JA callsigns must be above 100. I really curious what could happen with 40m if I could upgrade from the ¼ vertical to a 2el Yagi. 80m was good and felt a bit better towards the NA compared to 40m. Stats might prove this but the Inv-L worked good there. 160m was the usual noise maker. Man how tiring is that without RX antennas. Actually same is valid to 80m as well.

The icing on the cake I had yearly operational performance review meeting @09:00 on Mon. No need to say I was not in the best shape but managed to fix it as well.

I feel completely wrecked, but I loved this… However I broke a radio but happy with the result. I learnt a lot which can be used for the next season.


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